Wednesday, June 30, 2010

homemade sourdough starter in 14 days

Thanks to a bit of inspiration, I am finally checking "make sourdough starter" off of my to-do list. I mean really, how hard is it to throw some flour and water in a glass container each day?

It should take 2 weeks to properly ferment before I can bake my first loaf. A healthy and well-fed sourdough starter can last for years (I mean decades). Avid bakers take great pride in their "Mother Dough" Below are the directions I am following based on what I have read in a few books and on the internet.

Why not start yours today and we can bake our first loaf together in the coming weeks? It will only take a moment of your time! This could quite possibly become a family heirloom!

organic white flour
filtered warm water
clean and sterilized glass jar
A "warm place"to store it- Ideally between 25 and 30˚C- I am keeping mine close to the oven/elements to ferment

*try to 'feed' your sourdough at the same time each day so that 24 hours has elapsed

Day One:
Add 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 flour and stir. Cover with a loose lid and place somewhere warm

Day Two:
Add another 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 flour and stir. Cover with a loose lid and place somewhere warm

Day Three:
Add another 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 flour and stir. Cover with a loose lid and place somewhere warm

Day Four:
A few bubbles should start to appear now (depending on how warm it's been). Discard most of the flour/water mixture leaving just over a tablespoon of it at the bottom of the jar. Add one cup fresh flour, one cup warm water and stir.

Day 5 and 6:
Repeat Day 2 and 3

Day 7:
Repeat Day 4

Day 8, 9:
Repeat Day 2 and 3

Day 10:
Repeat Day 4

Day 11, 12:
Repeat Day 2 and 3

Day 13:
Repeat Day 4.

Day 14:
Baking Day! -Your starter should be ready to use. At this point, you can move it to the fridge (with a sealed lid that is breathable- I will hammer a few holes into my lid) so that you only need to feed it once or twice a week- most likely replacing the amount you will be using for baking. Most sourdough recipes will call for one cup of starter, so you would replace that cup with 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of warm water and stir and then put it back in the fridge. Every so often it's a good idea to remove the starter and clean and re-sterilize the jar you store it in for ideal growth conditions, but you don't have to worry about that for the first few weeks.

I'll post again in a couple weeks with a sourdough recipe and photos of my first loaf. Good luck to those who are joining in!


And don't forget to enter the lovely giveaway for a lunchskins sandwich bag and snack pack thanks to State of Green!


Bianca said...

I found a gem of a book at an op shop a few weeks ago, Natural Tucker bread making or some such, it is a GREAT book! the author has a sour dough ferment over 150 years old! I am yet to try bread making, but it is definately on my 'to do list'..its a long list.


Vic said...

The last time I attempted a sour dough starter it was a dismal failure. You've inspired me to give it another go. I only keep wholemeal flour in the house so will give it a go with that. It'll be interested to see the results! Vicxx

Belinda said...


I have to say with the temperatures around right now you might be in the middle of an up hill battle on that starter. I certainly wouldn't be expecting much life in 14 days unless you either heat a lot or stike it really lucky.

If it doesn't happen to work out feel free to drop me an email. I am more than happy to split mine off and post it out, to get you going.

Kind Regards

Kristi said...

that blog you linked to is so beautiful, thanks for sharing.

ecoMILF said...

Thanks Belinda. I plan on sticking it in the oven when the oven is turned off but still warm from the day's baking/cooking (almost everyday). Hopefully this will give it the kick start it needs.

xo m.

Stephanie G. said...

I've just started my search for starter advice and lo and behold you write about it! Awesome! I can't wait to start!! Thank you! Can I use any more exclamation points?!


Amanda said...

Oooh I want to try this, I love sourdough. With the summer hitting us hard in the desert right now keeping it warm shouldn't be a problem :P...Good Luck with yours!

Leanne said...

Oh yes I was inspired by Farmama too! I really must get to making some!

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Good luck with the sourdough starter. I started mine a couple of months ago and haven't looked back. It is sooo much fun playing around with the different types of loaves and ways to produce different textures.

About the temperature for the starter, my average temp (without cooking) is 15 C lately in my kitchen (middle winter), so pretty cool. Obviously when cooking it heats up more, and placed on top of the fridge so going to catch more of the warm air. I took 3 weeks to get it up and running, and from the first week onwards the parts I was supposed to be discarding used for making loaves, but just added a little yeast to back it up- worked really well.

Have fun with your new pet :-)

Rebecca The Greeniac said...

OK... this has been on my list for literally years, so perhaps I'll give it a go. And warm shouldn't be a problem in my neck of the woods because we've been averaging over 90 degrees Fahrenheit most days!

I actually spoke with a woman at a local who made some delicious sourdough, and she said something about using grapes in her starter because apparently the skins have a lot of natural yeast on them. Anybody have any experience with that?

Fruitful Fusion said...

Thanks for this post! I really want to try it out!

little grubs said...

Just been reading about this in a magazine and thought how great it sounded. However, we don't have anywhere that reaches near 25degrees - in fact we're lucky for it to get to double figures at the moment so I might have to wait until summer! Look forward to seeing how the first loaf turns out. x

Beckerman Girls said...

Wow! I had no idea this is how sourdough was made... quite eye opening!! Thanks Meag :)Your blog is so fantastic!!!

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